Soybean School: Replant strategies for dry soils


It’s been dry and cool across Ontario since soybean planting started rolling at top speed in mid-May and those conditions are causing replant headaches for many growers. Field scouting has revealed a host of soil, seed emergence, and vigour issues, including crusting and cold injury.

On this episode of the RealAgriculture Soybean School, Clark Agri-Service agronomist Johanna Lindeboom looks at the trials and tribulations of soybeans planted into a field of heavy clay at Fisherville, in Ontario’s Haldimand County.

“This has been some of the toughest planting conditions we have seen on the clay,” says Lindeboom. In this field, planted the week of May 15, she finds a range of issues beginning with plants that have stalled about one quarter of an inch before breaking through the surface. In this case, the agronomist believes that plants have suffered cold injury, due in part to low nighttime temperatures, lost vigour and simply running out of steam. (Story continues after the video.)

There are also areas where swollen soybean hypocotyls are struggling to emerge through crusted soils as well as open seed trenches, which can happen when planters with added downforce slice through dry clay and smear the sidewalls. Lindeboom sees the same problem in heavy clay when the soil is either wet or dry.

In a field like this, Lindeboom says a replant is the best strategy. Growers can try to wait it out and hope for a rain but that’s risky. When it comes to replanting, there are three options to consider: growers can replant to moisture (up to 2.5″ deep), but for most this will not be possible in the dry soil; replant to 1.5″ into bone dry soil and wait for rain; or wait for a rain and plant to moisture afterwards.

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